Mohave County Highpoint Trip Report

Hualapai Peak (8,417 ft)

Date: March 10, 2007
Author: Scott Peavy

I exited I-40 at exit 59, seven miles east of Kingman and headed south on DW Ranch Road. The road ends after about 6 miles at the intersection of Hualapai Mountain Road. I turned left and continued for 3.8 miles up to the park entrance station. After paying $5 and receiving a handy park trail map, I traveled 0.6 mile up to a closed gate and trailhead parking area. Although trails are not shown on the Hualapai Peak topo, the park map shows trails and displays marker numbers at important locations along the trails.

The TH is less than 200 feet west of the road gate and is shown as marker 4 on the pre-mentioned trail map. TH elevation is 6769 feet. The trail starts up the north side of Aspen Peak (unnamed 8167 on the topo). The path initially climbs and then levels out to an easy grade. After 0.9 mile, the trail comes to a junction, shown as marker 6. This is the Potato Patch Loop which circumnavigates Aspen Peak Going either way will get you to Hualapai Peak, so I choose to go left. This trail offers great views to the east as it contours Aspen Peak at a gentle climb. As the trail makes a transition to the south side of Aspen Peak, you encounter a storm shelter and the first views of Hualapai Peak. The trail rises a bit before descending down to intersect with a forest road, shown as marker 8 at an elevation of 7436 feet. Mileage from marker 6 to 8 was 1.2 miles.

At marker 8, take an immediate left and head southeast on the road. Over the next 0.9 mile, the road loses and gains about 250 feet of elevation until you arrive at a saddle at 7413 feet. I encountered patches of snow along the shaded areas of the road. At the saddle, the road turns right and heads southwest towards Hualapai Peak. The road quickly begins to degrade as you climb several switchbacks. The road is pretty washed out and has many large ruts. Several sections of the road are steep and the shaded areas again were snow covered. For the most part, I was able to avoid the snow, which was typically about 3 to 5 inches deep. Due to the underlying ruts, I occasionally stepped into sections that were over 1 feet deep with snow.

I followed the road for 0.8 mile to its end; then backtracked a switchback and began to bushwhack at an elevation of 8198 feet. The first part of this section involved loose dirt and lots of brush. I aimed for a point just north of the peak which led to climbing rock slabs to reach the ridge. From there, I headed south and found a worn path through more brush to reach the final set of boulders that make up the summit. I climbed up to a point just northwest of the highest boulder. I then walked a small ledge and climbed up the boulder's north side and topped out. The summit is roughly the size of a dinner table. BM Ref Mark "Hualapai 1925" is cemented at the southern end. The top was breezy and cool with poor views due to very hazy air conditions.

On my return, I continued on the forest road back past the trail intersection at marker 8 and hiked northwest through the Boy Scout camp. Just past the camp, I rejoined the section of the Potato Patch loop which travels along the north side of Aspen Peak back to marker 6. I came across six deer on the north side of Aspen Peak, some as close as 15 feet away.

Climb statistics: Ascent distance was 3.9 miles, descent was 4.5 miles for a total hike of 8.4 miles. With all the ups and downs, the total elevation gain was about 2,200 feet. Hike time not including summit stay was 3 hours, 18 minutes.